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Cats Have Allergies! Itching to Help Your Feline Friend?

All About Allergies in Cats

Just like humans, cats have allergies. However, unlike humans, your cat will likely not develop the same watery sinuses or tickle in their throat, so it’s good to be able to identify signs and determine the best treatment methods early in order to spare your feline friend many miserable months.

Signs of Allergies in Cats

Most commonly, cats develop allergies to their environment, food, and fleas, and you will likely see signs of these allergies on their skin and coat. While no two cats are the same and symptoms may vary, if you want to know how to tell if your cat has allergies, here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Increased licking
  • Chewing/biting at skin
  • Hair loss
  • Lesions
  • Scabbing 
  • Dry/flaking skin
  • Redness on chin, paws, or mouth
  • Sneezing, coughing, or wheezing
  • Head shaking/frequent ear infections
  • Runny nose

Cats with allergies to food will most often scratch at their heads and necks and experience gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Frequent changes to diet can cause these reactions but ultimately, food allergies can show up in cats at any age or at any time. The cause of food allergies in small animals is the protein source, with chicken and beef being the most common allergens. Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, severe itching, and redness and swelling of the skin are common signs of environmental allergies in cats who spend a lot of time outdoors,. Flea allergies are most commonly transmitted from a flea bite directly and results in itchiness, redness, crusting, and hair loss of the head, neck, rump, dorsum, flank, and tail regions. It’s important to note that it may only require one bite to trigger 2-3 weeks of severe itchiness and discomfort. Cats can also be allergic to other types of insect bites, such as mosquitos, and can result in ulcerations and crusting lesions on the ears, nose, and less commonly, around the mouth and on the body.

What Are Cats Allergic To?

Not only is it crucial to your furry friend’s health for you to be able to recognize signs of allergies in cats, but it’s imperative that you understand what might be prompting these reactions. Here’s a list of some common triggers:

  • Various pollens (dust, tree, weed)
  • Protein source in food
  • Mold or mildew
  • Fleas/flea preventatives
  • Other insect bites
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Prescription medications
  • Rubber or plastic materials

How to Treat Your Cat’s Allergies

Since the signs of allergies in cats vary, you’ll want to visit your primary veterinarian to best determine how to treat your cat’s allergies and develop a plan that meets his or her specific needs. Your vet may determine the source of the reaction(s) but if not, they may recommend skin or blood tests, medications, or suggest an elimination diet with the goal of narrowing down potential causes.

It’s unfortunate that even with technology today, our pets are still unable to verbalize their feelings. It’s our duty as pet parents to become aware of common triggers, avoid products or environments that over-stimulate the senses, and remain cognizant of abnormal behaviors in order to act accordingly and in a timely manner. Keeping a close eye on your feline friends and treating symptoms as soon as they arise guarantees more snuggles and less sneezing all year round. 

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. 

Happy Vet Tech Week!

National Vet Tech Week – October 11-17, 2020

Happy Vet Tech Week! AZPetVet doesn’t need a reason to celebrate some of our most important team members, but we will take this week as the perfect excuse! 

Image of vet tech examining dog paw

So, when is Vet Tech week? This national holiday came about back in 1993, and now occurs every third week in October. During these seven days, veterinarian practices and pet owners alike honor the vet tech profession and all the work they do to keep furry friends happy and healthy. You’ll find Vet Techs wherever you find veterinarians on staff – from animal hospitals like AZPetVet to the local zoo. Essentially, anywhere that cares for animals will have Vet Techs who serve as a critical component of the practice. And, they do not have it easy! Every day looks a little different, and brings both new adventures as well as challenges! Their driving force? Their endless love for all kinds of pets and animals! 

Vet Tech appreciation week 2020 is an excellent opportunity to praise the work that our Vet Techs and veterinary support team perform every day. They work tirelessly to give excellent care to every pet they come across. Below are just a few of the responsibilities they fulfill here at AZPetVet: 

  • Educate clients about pet health
  • Assist with emergency cases 
  • Collect blood and other samples
  • Check vital statistics
  • Emotional support to both pets and their parents
  • Provide nutritional advice
  • Monitor anesthesia
  • Administer medications
  • Provide nursing care
  • Medical therapy 
  • Radiology
  • Dental cleaning and x-rays 
  • Provide belly rubs and cuddles (yes, these are a must!) 

As you can see, Vet Techs definitely have their hands full. In light of this national holiday, if you’d like to show your gratitude to an amazing vet tech, here are a few simple ideas for vet tech appreciation week: 

  • Surprise them with a cup of coffee 
  • Give them a handwritten thank you note 
  • Give them a positive shoutout when leaving a review for your pet’s animal hospital or veterinarian’s office, including social media platforms 

Of course, just a simple ‘thank you’ will go a long way, any day of the year! 

We are so appreciative of all of the hard-working Vet Techs who make a difference in animals’ lives each day! Interested in a career as a Vet Tech with AZPetVet? We’re always looking for hardworking team members! Visit our careers page for more information on current positions available. 

Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week – September 20-26, 2020

Why You Should Consider Special Needs Animals for Adoption

 

Shelters and rescues are packed with homeless pets. At AZPetVet, we work with many rescue groups and organizations around the Valley, such as LovePup, to help as many animals in need of adoption as we possibly can. The ASPCA estimates that around 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year – approximately 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Special needs animals are consistently overlooked for adoption simply because so many people prefer to adopt cute puppies and kittens.

If you search ‘animals up for adoption near me’, you’ll get a huge string of results from all sorts of shelter and rescue organizations vying for your attention. All of them have pets that have been waiting weeks, months, and sometimes years to find their fur-ever homes. Typically, ‘less adoptable’ refers to animals in some unique categories including special needs and even hair color. While the term ‘special needs’ might sound intimidating, it’s a category term for pets who may need a little extra care. Physical disability, behavior, chronic illness, or medical conditions can all put an animal into this category, reducing their chance of finding a home. That’s why PetFinder.com created ‘Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week’ – to help raise awareness of these wonderful animals who are too often overlooked. Here, we’ll highlight the most common types of special needs pets and the reasons you may want to consider them.

Older Dogs

Senior pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons. Some may have health conditions that can be managed with diet and medications, others are perfectly healthy. Sometimes, the owner can no longer afford to care for them, becomes ill, moves, or just doesn’t want a pet anymore. Given the chance, older dogs can adapt to a new home and family, and become wonderful companion animals for families. Older dogs are especially great for individuals that enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, as they require a lot less exercise, and are often just happy to curl up next to their beloved person. Many people prefer to skip the rambunctiousness, potty training, and additional training that comes with adopting a puppy or kitten. Older pets usually know basic commands and tend to be more mellow, so they’re ideal for senior citizens. And yes, old dogs can learn new tricks – it’s just a matter of working with them to develop new habits. Positive reinforcement is the best approach. The Arizona Humane Society even offers a Senior to Senior adoption program with discounted fees. Like people, older pets will require regular wellness checks to keep them healthy and happy for life, so this should also be considered when adopting a senior animal.

Pets With Medical Conditions

Many shelter dogs and cats have some form of short- or long-term medical condition, especially older animals. Younger animals with less developed immune systems, or that haven’t received the required vaccination series can contract diseases, like parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough, or Valley Fever. With the right family or individual, plus regular veterinary care, many health conditions can be managed through medications, lifestyle and dietary modifications, and some good old fashioned TLC. With the right treatment and care, most pets will enjoy a good quality of life for years to come with their new families.

Hearing loss or deafness is another reason people will overlook adoptable pets. Congenital deafness often occurs in predominantly white or merle-coated breeds like Dalmatians, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, English Setters, white Boxers, and white Bull Terriers. While they may not be able to hear, most of these pets can learn simple sign language commands. Aside from the hearing loss, they’re still the same wonderful, loving creatures – they just need the chance to show it.

Behavior Problems

Just like people, no pet is perfect. Behavior problems are a common reason for people surrendering animals to a shelter or rescue. Pets with behavior problems have special needs, and require consistent, specialized training from a professional to get them back on track. Behavior issues can range from poor potty training, separation anxiety, or not getting along with other animals/children, to aggression. Many issues can be resolved with stability, consistent training, regular exercise and play, and of course, love.

Black Dogs & Cats

Research studies consistently show that black dogs and cats have a more difficult time getting adopted than others. Black dogs and cats are often left behind in shelters and rescues due to centuries of ingrained superstitions and old wives’ tales. The reality is that black dogs and cats are just as loveable as any other pet. While it may be harder to capture their cuteness and features in a photo without proper lighting, no matter what, black cats and dogs bring the same brand of goofy, unconditional love as other pets.

Remember, loving pets come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and breeds. Take some time to get to know one another when you’re looking for a new pet. You never know, it could be a loving match for life. Good luck in your search!

Need a good vet for your new pet? AZPetVet has 21 locations around the Valley. Click here to find a location near you.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

 

 

 

An Important Update from AZPetVet – 3/20/2020

To our incredible family of AZPetVet clients:
The ongoing well-being of your family and pets is our highest priority. As the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to impact everyday life, we are dedicated to providing you with the same great service and care that you have come to expect from our hospitals, while also taking measures to keep our clients, patients and team members healthy and safe. We are doing everything that we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including:

CURBSIDE SERVICES:

  • ALL NON-CRITICAL APPOINTMENTS: In almost all situations we will be providing curbside appointments.  When you arrive for your appointment, please wait in your car and call our practice on your cell phone.  We will walk you through what that process will look like for both you and your pet. Please limit the number of people at your veterinary appointments to one person if possible.
  • FOOD OR MEDICATION PICKUP: Please contact us to request any needed refills on medications or food. If you are picking up food or medications, please call when you arrive, and we will deliver these items directly to your car. You may also request refills on medication or food through our online pharmacy; you can find a link on all of our hospital websites .

SCHEDULING:

Limiting appointment availability for healthy pets to ensure availability for our sick or critical cases for the next 30 days.

  • If you have a previously scheduled appointment for a non-critical surgery, a team member may reach out to reschedule your appointment. Any Free Vaccines for Life patient coming due for exam during this time will be extended 90 days from their annual due date to remain enrolled.

CLEANING/SAFETY PROTOCOLS:

  • Team members continue to follow highest standard of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the hospital. Employees are not reporting to work if they are experiencing any illness or respiratory symptoms and to follow their doctor’s recommendations for medical care and quarantine.

What can you do for your pets and family?

  • Make sure that you have enough food, supplies and medications available for your pets for the next month, but kindly refrain from stocking more.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms or are quarantined and your pet needs veterinary care, we want to help.  Please call us to strategize the best course of action including the use of telemedicine.
  • With school, daycare and office closures we may run into scheduling challenges for both our clients and employees.  We ask for your patience should these situations cause any scheduling challenges.
  • Remember to follow CDC guidelines recommendation to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our hospitals with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to support the health and safety of your family and pets!

Sincerely,

The AZPetVet Family of Animal Hospitals

 

Polyuria and Polydipsia in Cats

How to Treat Polyuria and Polydipsia in Cats

As various factors change in a cat’s life, it’s common to see water intake and urination levels fluctuate to suit their current needs and environmental conditions. However, if you notice your furry friend drinking a lot more water or urinating more frequently, this could be a sign of an underlying health condition.

If your cat is making more frequent trips to the litter box or cleaning out its water bowl quicker than usual, these could be signs of polyuria or polydipsia. While polyuria and polydipsia themselves are not typically an immediate cause for concern, understanding these conditions and their causes are important in helping you determine if a visit to the vet is in order.

What is Polyuria and Polydipsia in Cats?

Polydipsia refers to a sharp increase in thirst levels. Polyuria is an increase in urination. While it can be challenging to identify polyuria or polydipsia in cats, the best way to recognize potential problems is to monitor your feline friend closely. Start by measuring the water that you pour into your cat’s bowl in the morning. On average, a healthy cat will take in roughly 20 to 40 milliliters of water per pound per day. By measuring your cat’s water supply at the start and end of each day, you can determine whether or not your furry friend is experiencing polydipsia.

One way to help identify polyuria in your cat is to observe the amount of wet litter inside of your cat’s litter box each day. In many cases, the cat might be experiencing an increase in urine volume caused by polyuria, and might also urinate outside the litter box. If you’re noticing more wet litter or an uncharacteristic change in your pet’s potty habits, it’s time to make a vet appointment right away.

Causes of Polyuria and Polydipsia in Cats

Many factors can lead to polyuria and polydipsia in cats. However, the primary causes include congenital abnormalities, specifically those related to renal failure. Additional causes of polyuria and polydipsia in cats include:

● Diabetes
● Kidney failure
● Uterine infection
● Liver disease
● Low protein diets
● Age

How to Treat Polyuria and Polydipsia in Cats

Treating polyuria and polydipsia in cats depends on a case-by-case basis, and is determined by the severity of the situation. The primary concern is that renal or hepatic failure could be the leading cause of polyuria or polydipsia. However, if both have been ruled out as possible causes, no treatment or significant life adjustment will likely be required for your furry friend.

By themselves, polyuria and polydipsia are not necessarily an initial cause for concern. However, if symptoms continue and are combined with other behavioral changes, make an appointment to have your cat evaluated by a veterinary professional right away.

Need a good vet? Visit AZPetVet.com/locations to find one near you!

[Disclaimer]
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.